Last week I got to peek into a few of the lectures and workshops that were taking place in Pender Harbour as part of the 17th International Fungi & Fibre Symposium. People from 15 countries gathered to study the magical art of mushroom dyeing. I met participants from Denmark, Norway, the United States and Australia, many of whom have been attending the biennial around the world for years. Some of them came with friends and others were pleasantly surprised to be bunking with people from their country, whom they'd never met. It was clear that everyone was in their element and soaking up the rare opportunity to geek out with others who share this rare interest.
The field of mushroom dyeing is vast, and from what I can gather even specialists are continuously learning from each dye pot and 'experiment' - a word I heard a lot last week. With pH levels and water quality playing keys roles, not to mention the endless (millions, really) species of mushrooms to study around the world, there is no shortage of experiments to be had.
Enjoy the video! Below you can find links to all the people and places I mention in it.
Fungi & Fibre Symposium 2016
Fibreworks Studio & Gallery
Caitlin Ffrench - instructor of Ecoprinting with Mushroom Dust
Ursula Bentz - instructor of nuno felting
Sunshine Coast Fibreshed
PS The 18th Fungi & Fibre Symposium will be just outside Oslo, Norway in 2018
Janna Maria Vallee is a tapestry weaver, longtime knitter, and 2013 graduate of Concordia University's Fibres and Material Practices program. In her art practice Janna combines textiles and socially engaged media. She founded VY in 2008.